The fast-growing Miami-based virtual behavioral health company is now in 10 states and has 113 health plan contracts
Access to basic behavioral health services for the nation’s most vulnerable populations is a public health crisis. The number of psychiatrists accepting Medicaid has fallen by half over the past decade, and with nearly one in four Americans now using Medicaid, this gap leaves many without access to the care they need.
A Miami-based healthtech startup is working to change that.
Brave Health, a virtual behavioral health provider focused on serving Medicaid populations, today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series B financing round led by City Light Capital, Union Square Ventures and Able Partners. The company will use the funding to continue expanding its national footprint and its platform. In total, Brave Health has raised $20.7 million in venture capital.
Brave Health, founded in 2018, offers a telehealth alternative to traditional outpatient services for mental health and addiction that have been hard to access in local communities. “At Brave Health, we’re focused on changing the narrative about Medicaid-based innovation and delivering sustainable solutions designed to improve behavioral health outcomes for millions of people,” said CEO Anna Lindow (pictured above), who co-founded the company with former General Assembly CEO Jake Schwartz.
In 2019, Brave Health was already treating patients via telehealth in Florida, accepting some healthcare insurance and approved as a Medicaid provider in the state. For Brave Health and other telehealth providers, business surged in 2020 as people turned to telehealth for the first time. Coupled with that, the pandemic exacerbated a brewing mental health crisis in this country.
Lindow and her team moved quickly to meet this demand – and offer a better alternative for mental health care, particularly for the underserved Medicaid populations. Brave Health’s business grew 20X in 2020 as the Brave Health team began expanding its services to a few additional states. The company’s fast growth has continued in 2021.
Today, Brave Health says it serves more than 65 million covered lives across 113 health plan contracts in 10 states: Florida, North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, New York, Ohio, Michigan and Alabama.
The startup is innovating in the mental health telehealth space in a variety of ways. Brave Health offers same-day assessments, reduces wait times for appointments to less than a week, and works closely with Medicaid case managers, providers and major Medicaid plans across the U.S. to increase patient engagement and lower overall costs of care. One large national Managed Behavioral Health Organization reported that patients who had at least one encounter with Brave Health had 90 percent fewer readmissions and 66 percent lower costs in approximately a one year period, the company said.
Also, while some of her telehealth rivals are matchmaking sites, Lindow employs all of her providers and in some ways Brave Health operates much like a physical doctors office would, managing each case within the greater healthcare system. In the first 10 months of 2021, health plan case managers, primary care physicians, and hospitals have made over 11,000 referrals to Brave Health and two-thirds of patients opted into care.
“I like to come at it from the perspective of if we believe that it is possible to make positive change within the system, we can. I am surprised every day by the things that I see happen that people have told me weren’t possible,” Lindow said in an earlier interview.
As part of the Series B financing, City Light Capital Partner Josh Cohen joined Brave Health’s Board of Directors. City Light Capital is an active investor in the mental health sector.
“What makes Brave Health particularly interesting is their impressive growth and unique approach to mental health care delivery for traditionally-underserved populations,” Cohen said. “Their mission aligns with ours of improving the lives of those who have historically been left behind by both the traditional healthcare system and by the investment community.”
Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter and email her at email@example.com
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